It was today 40 years ago!


As I recall and share with my sons and wife about how I felt 40 years ago watching on our 17″ black and white TV (Essex or Esser or something like that) the landing on moon, it reminds me that I have yet to achieve one of my goals – to be able to go to the moon. I know we can, and I know I will one day. I just want to do that ASAP.

Just today I was part of the prize giving ceremony of the code::XtremeApps:: 2009 where, in the Junior category, we recognized a two-sister team who wrote an application using Squeak Etoys to foster healthy lifestyles. One of the two sisters is just FOUR years old. What would her memories be 40 years from now? Only time will tell. It is perhaps extremely poignant to note that all the stuff we do with computers, the Internet, open standards, open source all had it’s start and motivation from the days of the Apollo space program. The need to miniaturize transistors lead to the development of integrated circuits which found its way into the early rockets. Yes, the computing power of the computers on board the Apollo is perhaps a fraction of my Fedora running laptop, but the laptop and Fedora would not be here if it wasn’t for that. So, thanks, NASA for hatching a dream and bringing forth amazing innovations to help improve life on earth.

But in the meantime, let’s make this planet a better place. Let’s strive to eliminate hunger, poverty (you know, poor people did not choose to be poor) and open up knowledge even further.

2 thoughts on “It was today 40 years ago!

  1. Very wise words, I couldn’t agree with you more! Hopefully we will all have a think today about how we can strive to make the earth a better place to live. Still though, regarding the moon landing I cant believe it has been 40 years! I find it totally fascinating. I would love to go into space, but not sure if I would be brave enough, and that is with all the supercomputers we have today! There is lots of fun stuff about exploring the moon at http://www.discoveryboxbooks.com/july.php plus a special project to design your own space mission patch – If you have a go you will get an official Certificate of Flight, which is a special souvenir of the International Year of Astronomy. Good blogging with you🙂

    1. Thanks for the comment. The closest thing I could do to become an astronaut was to become a pilot. I almost got my private pilot’s license when I was 17, but could not for various reasons (my grandma’s passing away). I then tried to sign up as a pilot with the Republic of Singapore Air Force, but Dad said no. I was one of 4 of a group of 15 who cleared all the medical and psychomotor tests. But because I was not 21 yet, I could not sign up with parent’s consent. Oh well.
      But then again, perhaps it was for the better. I did get to do electronics, electrical and computer engineering and have been thriving in that space ever since. I benefited from the work NASA did and I think the way forward for me is to find ways to give back. My sons have picked up some interest in computing (they did sit through two lessons on Androd programming for this year’s code::XtremeApps contest). But I should be able to better and more.

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